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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Granillo: Comic Book Guy is living a lie

“In The Simpsons, why in the world is Comic Book Guy’s store called “The Android’s Dungeon and Baseball Card Shop”? This is a travesty that needs to be called out!”

Meanwhile, back at the shop, does CBG even sell baseball cards? There was that one time Milhouse tried to buy a copy of the 1973 Carl Yastrzemski card, when he had the big sideburns. To his credit, Comic Book Guy knew exactly which card he wanted and exactly its price. However, in the 20-plus years since then, there hasn’t been a single other baseball-related item sold. There have been ALF pogs and Steve Allen pogs, jazz albums, barbershop albums, Mary Worth telephones, Radioactive Man comic books, Biclops comic books, Poochie merchandise, video games like Bonestorm and Lee Carvallo’s Putting Challenge, Itchy & Scratchy animation cels, James Bond autographs, McBain posters, bootleg movies, a little boy’s soul ... but no baseball cards. The store has been visited by the likes of Stan Lee, Hi & Lois, and even special-effects guru Tom Savini. Why not Mark McGwire, Roger Clemens or Babe Ruth IV? What about the Capitol City Goofball?

It’s in his free time that we see what Comic Book Guy really loves. As you might imagine, comic-book and science-fiction conventions play a big role. He once won the Ultimate Belt at a Star Trek convention and nearly married Edna Krabapple at Springfield’s Bi-Mon-Sci-Fi-Con. His internet life is just as predictable. Comic Book Guy runs many online forums (including “Ain’t I Fat News”), is a usenet obsessive, and was once married to a woman in an online role-playing game. He dresses in superhero costumes, attends flea markets, watches Doctor Who, and opines about any piece of pop culture that crosses his path. The only thing missing from these outside pursuits? Baseball. On that famous day when Hall of Famer Whitey Ford was pelted with pretzels, not even the allure of free food was enough to bring our anti-hero to the ballpark. A few years later, Homer Simpson staged a hunger strike to protest the Isotopes’ upcoming move to Albuquerque. Duff Stadium was filled that night with Springfield citizens from all walks of life, from retiree Jasper to billionaire Mr. Burns. And where was Comic Book Guy? Who knows.

It’s time to end the charade, Jeffrey Albertson. There’s a reason we call you “Comic Book Guy” and not “Comic Book and Baseball Card Guy.” Stop living a lie. The Android’s Dungeon is no baseball-card shop and its proprietor is no baseball fan. You know it, I know it, the people of Springfield know it ... and now the world knows it.

Let’s do something about this. Jiminy Jillickers!

Repoz Posted: May 16, 2013 at 01:35 PM | 35 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history

Reader Comments and Retorts

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. zonk Posted: May 16, 2013 at 01:56 PM (#4444846)
Worst. Nitpicking. Ever.
   2. Esoteric Posted: May 16, 2013 at 01:57 PM (#4444848)
Unfunny and dumb. I nominate him for child confiscation.
   3. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: May 16, 2013 at 02:04 PM (#4444863)
I always assumed that the idea was that it was one of those places that used to sell baseball cards, but drifted into Magic, Pokemon, Pogs, and so on. But they never changed their name. There are plenty of places like that in the real world.
   4. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: May 16, 2013 at 02:10 PM (#4444868)
My brother won a $25 gift certificate in a Simpsons trivia contest to a local pizza shop his sophomore year in college. That night the pizza shop burned down. He's still pissed that he didn't get his free pizza.
   5. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: May 16, 2013 at 02:12 PM (#4444874)
I've got the vision in my head of William Shatner on Saturday Night Live yelling at all the Trekkie geeks to get a life.
   6. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 16, 2013 at 02:15 PM (#4444879)
Baseball card popularity really declined over the 90s, so its not a surprise that CBC focused more on pogs and Mary Worth phones.

Okay, list every baseball player ever referenced on the Simpsons:

The obvious nine from "Homer at the Bat"
Mike Scioscia
Don Mattingly
Steve Sax
Ozzie Smith
Wade Boggs
Ken Griffey
Jose Canseco
Daryl Strawberry
Roger Clemens

*Whitey Ford, pummeled by pretzels
*Milhouse wants to by the Yaz card as mentioned above
*While Milhouse is distracted by a girl, Bart trades his Omar Vizquel baseball card for the Yaz card
*Isotopes outfielder Babe Ruth III, heir of Babe Ruth
*Random appearance by Sal Bando, Gene Tenace, and other members of the '74 Athletics
*Bart and Milhouse play baseball and announce they are "Tomozaku Ohka and Esteban Yan"
*Lisa mentions that "Chicken Soup for the Loser" gave Bill Buckner the confidence to open a chain of laundromats
*Randy Johnson appears at the left-handed convention.
*Animatronic Babe Ruth enjoying a Duff appears at Duff Gardens
*Mark McGwire appears after a MLB satellite crashes, and distracts people by swattting dingers
   7. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: May 16, 2013 at 02:19 PM (#4444884)
Mickey Mantle's heartfelt endorsement of Maypo inspired The Rich Texan to purchase half-a-dozen mattresses.
   8. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: May 16, 2013 at 02:24 PM (#4444891)
I have no time to converse with you. I must be first to register my disgust on the internet regarding the new Granillo column. The prose was dismal and the laughter was frustratingly fleeting. I barely got going.
   9. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: May 16, 2013 at 02:24 PM (#4444893)
There's also Maggie's nemesis.
   10. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 16, 2013 at 02:27 PM (#4444895)
What about the Capitol City Goofball?


Tom Poston, alas, is dead.
   11. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: May 16, 2013 at 02:30 PM (#4444899)
The obvious nine from "Homer at the Bat"


Also the players Burns originally wanted to hire: Honus Wagner, Cap Anson, and Mordecai "Three-Finger" Brown. It occurs to me that in the world of the Simpsons, where people have fewer fingers, Mordecai was less unusual.
   12. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: May 16, 2013 at 02:31 PM (#4444900)
Android's Dungeon is just the cool kids' way of saying Mother's Basement.
   13. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: May 16, 2013 at 02:34 PM (#4444905)
Mike Scioscia is the only person on the Simpsons who has appeared as himself twice. There was that episode a couple years ago with him and Bill James and um....

EDIT: Just those two.
   14. Good cripple hitter Posted: May 16, 2013 at 02:34 PM (#4444907)
Okay, list every baseball player ever referenced on the Simpsons:

The obvious nine from "Homer at the Bat"


"Honus Wagner! Cap Anson! Mordecai 'Three Finger' Brown!"

along with: Nap Lajoie, Pie Traynor, Gabby Street, Joe Jackson, Harry Hooper, Jim Creighton.
   15. crict Posted: May 16, 2013 at 02:39 PM (#4444917)
In the translation for the Quebec market, Whitey Ford was changed to Claude Raymond. All others unchanged I believe.
   16. Gamingboy Posted: May 16, 2013 at 02:39 PM (#4444919)
I'm reasonably sure there was an episode where while channel-surfing they mention that Derek Jeter is on Sesame Street.
   17. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: May 16, 2013 at 02:39 PM (#4444920)
Mike Scioscia is the only person on the Simpsons who has appeared as himself twice. There was that episode a couple years ago with him and Bill James and um....


Maybe the only athlete. Thomas Pynchon has been on twice, too.
   18. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 16, 2013 at 02:43 PM (#4444926)
Leonard Nimoy was on twice - "Monorail" and when Homer thinks he has found an alien. A recent Conan O'Brien roundtable revealed that they originally wanted George Takei in Nimoy's place for the monorail episode, but Takei was an ardent supporter of public transit and didn't want to make fun of monorails.


Oh, I have wasted my life...
   19. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: May 16, 2013 at 02:44 PM (#4444928)
Forgot that! I don't know where I heard that about Scioscia, though I do remember thinking it didn't sound right...
   20. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: May 16, 2013 at 03:06 PM (#4444955)
I heard the same thing about Scioscia Dock, don't feel bad.
   21. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: May 16, 2013 at 03:13 PM (#4444960)
Takei was an ardent supporter of public transit and didn't want to make fun of monorails.

I am thankful Phil Hartman had no such reservations. Marge vs the Monorail is on the short list of my favorite episodes.
   22. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: May 16, 2013 at 03:28 PM (#4444975)
Matt Groening is a big supporter of public transit too. He said (I think in the DVD commentary on the monorail episode) that he got mail from anti-transit or anti-monorail people thanking him for showing just how bad things could be.
   23. zonk Posted: May 16, 2013 at 03:43 PM (#4444991)
Matt Groening is a big supporter of public transit too. He said (I think in the DVD commentary on the monorail episode) that he got mail from anti-transit or anti-monorail people thanking him for showing just how bad things could be.


Funny is funny, man... you can't get hung up who won't get it any more than the Boss should stop writing songs because so many people think Born in the USA is a fist-pumping anthem or Stephen Colbert retired because Tom DeLay once cited a Colbert Show schtick approvingly, not quite getting the nature of the show.
   24. Select Storage Device Posted: May 16, 2013 at 03:45 PM (#4444998)
*Mark McGwire appears after a MLB satellite crashes, and distracts people by swattting dingers


Absolutely love this bit.
   25. spike Posted: May 16, 2013 at 03:57 PM (#4445012)
I have no time to converse with you. I must be first to register my disgust on the internet regarding the new Granillo column. The prose was dismal and the laughter was frustratingly fleeting. I barely got going.

Parking was ample.
   26. TDF, situational idiot Posted: May 16, 2013 at 04:25 PM (#4445052)
As you might imagine, comic-book and science-fiction conventions play a big role. He once won the Ultimate Belt at a Star Trek convention and nearly married Edna Krabapple at Springfield’s Bi-Mon-Sci-Fi-Con. His internet life is just as predictable. Comic Book Guy runs many online forums (including “Ain’t I Fat News”), is a usenet obsessive, and was once married to a woman in an online role-playing game. He dresses in superhero costumes, attends flea markets, watches Doctor Who, and opines about any piece of pop culture that crosses his path. The only thing missing from these outside pursuits? Baseball. On that famous day when Hall of Famer Whitey Ford was pelted with pretzels, not even the allure of free food was enough to bring our anti-hero to the ballpark. A few years later, Homer Simpson staged a hunger strike to protest the Isotopes’ upcoming move to Albuquerque. Duff Stadium was filled that night with Springfield citizens from all walks of life, from retiree Jasper to billionaire Mr. Burns. And where was Comic Book Guy? Who knows.
In other words, he probably posts here regularly.
   27. jdennis Posted: May 16, 2013 at 04:32 PM (#4445060)
hey man, those ball games were expensive. the sci-fi conventions were probably free. he obviously is low-income and has dial up internet. also the article didn't mention his love of porn.
   28. BochysFingers Posted: May 16, 2013 at 07:37 PM (#4445238)
Wasn't this article written somewhat tongue-in-cheek?
   29. TJ Posted: May 16, 2013 at 08:33 PM (#4445264)
I got sucked in there once- all he had in baseball cards were some loose packs of 1988 Donruss and one of the 120 versions of a Gregg Jeffries rookie card...
   30. Walt Davis Posted: May 17, 2013 at 12:20 AM (#4445476)
I assume you geeks have seen this already:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPkByAkAdZs
   31. Bitter Mouse Posted: May 17, 2013 at 08:00 AM (#4445526)
the sci-fi conventions were probably free.


Says someone who has never been to one. They can be pricey. And yes I am a geek, why do you ask?
   32. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: May 17, 2013 at 09:25 AM (#4445566)
I went to a star trek convention in 9th or 10th grade. The speakers were almost all voyager people: B'alaana Torres, The Holodoc, Chakotay, Ensign Kim...but they threw in George Takei for us.

I bought a starter pack of the Star of the Guardians card game. No idea what I was thinking there. Also, a Don't Panic shirt.
   33. Charlie O Posted: May 17, 2013 at 01:16 PM (#4445796)
Before we nitpick The Simpsons, let's get after baseball's "winter" meetings that are held in autumn, "spring" training which takes place mostly in winter, and the term "position player" used to describe non-pitchers. When we're done there, we can move on to Comic Book Guy.
   34. Walt Davis Posted: May 17, 2013 at 06:00 PM (#4446153)
#33, you're making me nostalgic for the old NL West.
   35. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: May 17, 2013 at 07:42 PM (#4446191)
Says someone who has never been to one. They can be pricey.
How is it not possible to sneak in on a pack of geeks?

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